rionaleonhart: okami: amaterasu is startled. (NOT SO FAST)
I recently had a conversation with my housemate about how extremely screwed up the Animorphs books were, containing the line, 'Yeah, that's not the first genocide in the Animorphs books.' It reminded me that I once wrote an Animorphs-inspired short story for school, and my English teacher called my parents because she was worried about my psychological health. (Look, we were prompted to write about nightmares! Were you expecting something nice?)

Seriously, though. There's one book where a kid's parents have been enslaved by mind-controlling aliens, so he goes, 'Well, I'll just murder this terminally injured kid and morph into him and go "look, I've made a miraculous recovery!" and then I'll have his parents,' and our heroes end up trapping him permanently in the body of a rat on an isolated island, which gets a reputation for being haunted because passing sailors can hear the rat-kid's psychic screams. One of our heroes, in rat form, is forced to chew through her own tail so their horrible plan will work. I was maybe ten years old when I read this.

Wait, are the Animorphs books the origin of my fondness for the Teenagers Suffering Horribly genre? They're definitely the origin of my writing style; the influence is really, really obvious when I reread my early Pokémon fanfiction. I've kept the 'very straightforward prose, lots of dialogue' aspects to this day. (And, on a content note, I'm still writing about teenagers suffering horribly.)

The theme of the inevitable Linkin Park segment in this entry is 'songs Linkin Park inexplicably never released on an album and don't have on their official YouTube channel EVEN THOUGH THEY'RE GREAT', because I went on a desperate hunt after hearing 'No Roads Left'. I've never heard Mike sing like this before! He usually raps or sings more gently; I had no idea he could manage something this desperate. And 'Across the Line' (warning for suicidal themes) is easily polished enough to be an album song; the buildup of the instruments is great. (The cats just had a DRAMATIC BATTLE while I was listening to it, and it made for the most incredible background music.)

Moving to some softer songs, 'She Couldn't' (again, suicidal themes) is also very good, although at least I can see why this one never ended up on an album: it was recorded in the Hybrid Theory era and wouldn't have fit with the harder sound of their other songs at the time, and the sampling might have created legal issues. And I love the instrumentation and singing on Blackbirds, although the lyrics hurt.

(Hard to think of any song from this band where the lyrics don't hurt. I'm doing a little better now (writing that horrible Until Dawn timeloop fic was incredibly cathartic and helped me claw myself out of a bad psychological dip), but it's been a really tough month. Chester's death in many ways feels like the death of my childhood, and it also got tangled up in my head with the death of a friend of mine under similar circumstances years ago, so I've been grieving on a weird number of levels.

WAIT, CURSES, I GOT SAD IN AN ENTRY AGAIN AND THE RULES SAY I HAVE TO POST SOMETHING CUTE TO MAKE UP FOR IT. Here are Chester and Joe putting on a stupid puppet show with puppets of the band members. I love the 'making fun of friends you know really well' feel of it. I also enjoyed Chester bouncing around ridiculously to a silly version of 'One Step Closer'.)
rionaleonhart: kingdom hearts: riku, blindfolded and smiling slightly. (we'll be the darkness)
A worrying thought: how many of my favourite character types can be traced back to James Sunderland of Silent Hill 2? I love characters who make terrible mistakes and are overcome by self-loathing, characters trying to atone for things that can't ever be undone, characters who undergo horrible experiences they'll never recover from or be believed about, characters who can't trust their own perception of reality. And I follow all those threads back, wondering when I first developed these preferences, and they all take me to James Sunderland, all-time champion of the World's Worst Husband competition.

Mike Munroe of Until Dawn falls into three of these four character types (all four in a couple of fics where I kick in his perception of reality: Alone Together, Wrong Road Home) and, moreover, wears a James Sunderland-esque heavy green jacket for most of the game. It's no wonder I like him so much. If it's any consolation, Mike, you are at least a slightly better person.

Here is a small handful of Until Dawn ficlets, most written anonymously for drabble challenges on [community profile] fail_fandomanon, all focusing on Mike and Sam.

Until Dawn, 100 words, prompt: comfort bathing )

Until Dawn, 100 words, prompt: long-distance )

Until Dawn/Animorphs, 100 words, prompt: fusionfic )

Until Dawn, 300 words, prompt: Sam/Hannah )

(The last one came about because a friend challenged me to write some Sam/Hannah. Their response was 'Damn it, you managed to make my ship about your ship,' which is, I'll admit, a fair accusation. It's the only thing I can write!)
rionaleonhart: harry potter: extremely poorly-drawn dumbledore fleeing and yelling NOOOOOOOOO. (NOOOOOOOOO)
I don't know why I've ended up writing such a huge entry on a game none of you have played, but, er, here you go. (The last few paragraphs of the entry still concern Until Dawn but may be of more general interest to people who play videogames.)

I ended up spoiling myself for just about everything in Until Dawn, because I was far too freaked out to keep watching when I didn't know what was going on, and it's amazing how much of a difference it made. Every QTE was terrifying when I was unspoiled; every decision felt like a matter of life or death. Once I'd looked things up, I was absolutely fine; I could just watch and enjoy this story about a group of flawed teenagers in a horrible situation without being constantly on the verge of dissolving into petrified sobs.

In a way, I do regret robbing myself of the opportunity to play the game blind, making my own bad decisions and seeing who survives to the end. On the other hand, even if a first playthrough is probably a powerful experience, I feel it wouldn't be an experience I'd enjoy.

It's really interesting to see the way the game's situation brings out certain qualities in its characters. Mike and Sam are at their absolute best when they and their friends are in mortal peril (even if Mike screws up sometimes). Emily very much looks out for herself, but she's able to stay focused and keep going. Ashley doesn't do well under pressure at all, although, to be fair, she's put in really horrifying situations. You might die! You might not! It's completely up to the person who's weighing your life against something else, and all you can do is wait helplessly!

I think an Animorphs AU for Until Dawn could work really well: it's a similar 'hey, teenagers, here's an awful situation you've suddenly been thrown into, you're going to have to think strategically to not die, good luck!' concept, and I'd love to see how the Until Dawn characters would handle it. Given that there are eight characters involved, though, it'd probably be too ambitious a project for me to attempt.

(Would Mike be the leader? Sam? Maybe Mike's the leader in name and Sam's actually the one who keeps things together.)

I don't think I'll be writing any more Until Dawn fanfiction, although admittedly I thought that after my first Until Dawn fic, and indeed after my second. But I've written 'Mike and Sam are miserable and make out', 'Mike and Sam are miserable and don't make out' and 'Mike wants to make out with everyone (and is miserable)'. Where else can I go? I can't just write endlessly about Mike being miserable, but it's the only thing my heart is interested in.

(I got a review on my Mike/everyone fic that said 'THIS WAS SADDER THAN I THOUGHT IT WAS GONNA BE. ;A;', which I'm pleased with because it is exactly according to my evil plan. The summary is 'Mike Munroe has a lot of attractive friends, and he'd make out with all of them if he could.' Hey, this'll be silly and fun! NO. NO FUN. MISERY. IT'S UNTIL DAWN.)

If I could write sex, I'd probably write a fic where Mike and Sam are the only ones left alive, they're still trapped on the mountain, and they end up banging unhappily because they're probably going to die anyway and it's the only thing they can think of to do. Alas, it's not in my skillset.

I've been skipping around and watching bits of a lot of different Until Dawn Let's Plays, and not just because I could watch Mike cut his own fingers off all day. I really like watching people slowly warm to Mike. He makes such a bad first impression (the first two things he does are 'participate in a cruel prank' and 'jumpscare you'), and I love the way a lot of players gradually progress from 'who's this arsehole?' to 'actually, I'm really invested in this arsehole's survival.'

Something I found interesting: at one point, when ChristopherOdd was playing as Mike, Jessica called to Mike for help. ChristopherOdd commented on 'the sheer terror in her voice, calling out our name'. When you play as Mike, does Mike's name become your name as well? Referring to playable characters in the first person is common enough; if Nathan Drake falls off a cliff when I'm controlling him, I'll usually say that I fell, rather than that Nate fell. Referring to yourself and the playable character together as 'us' isn't unheard of; you might say, 'Come on, Mike, let's see what's over here' (I'd never say 'we fell off a cliff' in the Uncharted example, though). But thinking of the name of the character you're playing as 'your' name strikes me as unusual.

Then again, if you saw me playing Silent Hill 2 and asked what was happening in it, I feel I might say that I'm looking for my wife. I don't know why names are specifically the point at which I feel a barrier falls between me and the playable character.

Are there any studies on when people refer to playable characters in the first person? Does it happen more with customisable protagonists, with silent protagonists, with protagonists that share the player's gender? Does having more than one playable character in the game affect it? (I feel I don't generally use 'I' in Final Fantasy games, for example, where you can usually control the actions of multiple characters.) Does whether the player likes the protagonist affect it? It's a difficult subject to Google, unfortunately. I don't want to know about first-person videogames; I want to know about people talking about videogames in the first person!
rionaleonhart: final fantasy viii: found a draw point! no one can draw... (you're a terrible artist)
In the past month, I have written over twenty thousand words of Assassin's Creed fanfiction. This is my life now. This is what I do.

Which is to say that I've written another few thousand words of Visitors (Gratuitous Wish-Fulfilment Edition) and edited them into the original post! It's slightly veered away from the 'wish-fulfilment' theme and become a more general 'scenes that didn't fit into the original Visitors' collection, though. Most of these scenes involve Desmond's life being ruined for my amusement. Sorry, Desmond.

(Unlike the AO3 version, where I just post new scenes as they're written, I've tried to marshal the version here into... something approaching a chronological order, even though the time-travel concept makes a sensible chronology completely unachievable. I've mainly rearranged things so I can keep the platonic bedsharing scene at the end.

'Riona,' you may say, frowning, 'that makes no chronological sense, no matter how you interpret the passage of time.' This is an excellent point, to which my response is 'screw you'.)

Astonishingly, I've also written a couple of ficlets that aren't for Assassin's Creed recently, so I'm going to post them here!

Along with, er. Along with an Assassin's Creed ficlet. Sorry. (Actually the first thing I wrote for this fandom, before Visitors took over my life.)

Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood: Desmond and Ezio. Originally written for [ profile] classics_lover at [ profile] comment_fic, here.

Brotherhood: Desmond and Ezio )

Super Dangan Ronpa 2: Hinata and Koizumi, pre-canon. Originally written for [ profile] naekusaba101. Full-game spoilers. (Incidentally, last night I had a dream about Hinata and Koizumi sleeping curled up together and it was adorable.)

Super Dangan Ronpa 2: Hinata and Koizumi )

Animorphs: Marco and Rachel, Hunger Games AU. I can't believe I've never actually written anything involving the Animorphs characters before; I've loved these books for so long! Originally written for [ profile] streussal at [ profile] comment_fic, here.

Animorphs: Hunger Games AU )

I keep thinking about this Animorphs 'victors of the Hunger Games' AU. I don't go into detail here about how Marco won his Games, but I imagine it was with some sort of trap.

Presumably Jake won as a Career, like Rachel; I imagine they'd live in the same district, and only volunteers get into the arena in the Career districts. The Career pack cleared most of the field under Jake's leadership before eventually turning on each other, and he was the one who emerged alive.

Cassie hid and hunted for food and just outsurvived her fellow tributes. The Capitol admires her for winning without a drop of blood on her hands, and she's often depicted with angel wings in merchandise, but she very much thinks of herself as a killer. Surviving is an act of violence when only one person can live.

Tobias is selected as a tribute the year after Marco. He dies in the initial scramble for the Cornucopia.

This is a horrible crossover.
rionaleonhart: the mentalist: lisbon, afraid but brave, makes an important call. (it's been an honour)
I was a little worried about writing a Last of Us AU with no apocalypse; is it possible to make Ellie and Riley feel right in a pre-apocalypse setting? Well, I seem to have written this anyway, so I suppose the answer will have to be 'I certainly hope so!'

I don't know if I'll write any more in this universe, but there are definitely more stories to explore here.

Title: Extreme Team-Building Exercises
Fandom: The Last of Us
Rating: PG-13
Pairing: slight Ellie/Riley
Wordcount: 7,500
Summary: My name's Ellie. The girls turning into flies are Riley and Sarah. And we are fighting a war that's way too big for us. (Animorphs AU)

Extreme Team-Building Exercises )
rionaleonhart: the mentalist: lisbon, afraid but brave, makes an important call. (it's been an honour)
Recently, I've been working on and off on two works of fanfiction: a Neon Genesis Evangelion AU for Kingdom Hearts, and an Animorphs AU for The Last of Us. I've only just realised that this means I'm crossing over four different canons about fourteen-year-olds being horribly traumatised. Why do so many things I love feature fourteen-year-olds being horribly traumatised?

(I cannot guarantee that either of these ill-advised fics will actually be finished, but we'll see!)

In the absence of a PSP, I've spent the past few days watching the story of Crisis Core, the prequel to Final Fantasy VII. Some kind soul has compiled all the cutscenes into a three-hour film over here. It's well worth watching! (Or playing, I assume, if you have the console.)

I was slightly startled by how quickly everything in Crisis Core became heartbreaking. In retrospect, I feel a little silly. Was I really expecting a Final Fantasy VII prequel about Zack Fair to be relentlessly cheerful?

Although the sheer ridiculousness of the new-to-Crisis-Core plot (which, as far as I can tell, is 'hundreds of Gackt clones are terrorising the world') helps to dull the blade a little.*

Zack himself is awfully endearing. I love his expressions.

There's a strange thrill in seeing familiar locations from Final Fantasy VII rendered in glorious PSP graphics. I'm still thoroughly fed up with the people who comment on every Square-related article to say 'EVERYTHING SQUARE HAS DONE FOR THE LAST EIGHTEEN YEARS IS CRAP, REMAKE FFVII', but a remake would be pretty cool. Although there's no possible way it would appease the complainers. I am absolutely convinced that, if they actually did remake VII, with updated graphics and remastered music and voice-acting and a better translation, ninety per cent of the people baying for an HD version would hate it.

Beneath the cut are some spoilery notes on Crisis Core. They only spoil things that are revealed in Final Fantasy VII's backstory, though, so you may be able to read them safely even if you haven't played Crisis Core itself.

Further notes on Crisis Core. )

I'm so glad I can enjoy the Final Fantasy VII universe now. I've finally managed to look past the worst parts of the fanbase and appreciate the source material, and it feels great.

Watching Crisis Core has actually sort of made me want to replay Final Fantasy VII. But I played it so recently! Well, a year and a bit ago, but that's relatively recent.

I suppose what I need is a remake, so I can re-experience the game in a fresh way.


* My attempt to explain this game to [ profile] th_esaurus:

Riona: So there's this guy who looks like Gackt, and he's always quoting from a ridiculous play called Loveless, which I think is also the name of some sort of catboy manga, so clearly he should be quoting that instead. And he has a wing - just one wing - and there are a load of clones of him running around. At one point they jump out of the sea, wearing scuba gear, and attack our hero Zack while he's shirtless at the beach on holiday. And he has to grab an umbrella to fight them.
Riona: This game is really depressing.
RD: Why does Final Fantasy exist?
rionaleonhart: red dead redemption: john marston reloads sexily (debatable). (just gonna reload while talkin' to you)
Watching Free! Eternal Summer is very weird after vast amounts of Supernatural. Supernatural is a deeply depressing show about two brothers desperately trying to hold onto each other as everything falls apart around them. Free!, meanwhile, doesn't get much more emotionally devastating than 'OH NO, RIN AND NITORI AREN'T LIVING IN THE SAME DORM ROOM ANY MORE'.

(Although that was pretty devastating.)

In Supernatural-land, I've now finished the sixth season, meaning I'm well into uncharted territory. I've been spoiled for most of the major plot developments, I think, but I haven't actually seen any of these episodes before.

I was a little worried about the sixth season, because the vague impression I'd got was that most people viewed it fairly negatively. In terms of the relationship between Sam and Dean, though, it's probably one of my favourite seasons (my other favourites in that regard are two and three), and the relationship between Sam and Dean is very important.

Spoilers for specific sixth-season episodes beneath the cut. )

'Frontierland' slightly made me 'ship Castiel/Bobby. I'm not sure that was supposed to happen. (I thought I was joking when I typed this, but in episodes since then I've found myself rewinding and rewatching every glance and touch between Castiel and Bobby, so I suppose I was serious. Oh, dear.)
rionaleonhart: final fantasy xiii: lightning pays intense attention to you. (speak carefully)
Lightning Returns, the final game in the Final Fantasy XIII trilogy, is coming out in Europe in about a month and a half. To remind myself of what preceded it, I've resumed my replay of Final Fantasy XIII.

Final Fantasy XIII has rather more 'I'VE JUST REALISED WHAT'S BEEN DRIVING ME THE ENTIRE TIME AND NOW I'M GOING TO EXPLAIN IT AT LENGTH, ALOUD' moments than I'd remembered. Stop that, Final Fantasy XIII. If you keep it subtle, some people aren't going to grasp the flaws that motivate these characters to make terrible decisions, true, but you have to accept that. Having the characters explicitly say 'oh my God, I've just realised that this character flaw of mine has led me to make all these terrible decisions!' sounds incredibly unnatural and moreover takes all the fun out of character analysis. Leave something for us!

Whenever I get annoyed with this game, though, there's a really lovely bit of character interaction and I have to forgive it. Plus the battle system is twice as great as I remembered. In most Final Fantasy games, my strategy is 'hit things, cast Cure, ignore all other abilities'. In XIII there are six different combat roles, and I make regular use of every single one of them.

One interesting thing about the XIII battle system is the way in which it reverses traditional JRPG gender roles. Although each character can take several roles in battle, each has a particular role in which they excel: Fang is an incredibly powerful Commando, for example. Vanille is the best Saboteur, Sazh the best Synergist, Snow the best Sentinel, Hope the best Medic. The best Ravager can perhaps be debated, but I personally feel it's Lightning for her versatility; I'd certainly make her my Ravager if I had to assign each role to a single character. And this means that all the women excel in offensive roles, whereas the men excel in support roles. The women damage and weaken the enemies; the men heal and support the party. I'm not saying that all female characters should be cast in offensive roles forever, of course - Yuna of Final Fantasy X, who is a healer and can only be built into a physical fighter with some very determined levelling, is one of my favourite characters of all time - but they're certainly cast in support roles disproportionately often, and so Final Fantasy XIII makes a pleasant change.

I also really like that Final Fantasy XIII is very much a story about women and the relationships between them. That's shockingly rare in a videogame; I think Portal is the only other game I've played in which the relationship between female characters drives the plot, and the plot of Portal is fairly thin.* In Final Fantasy XIII, the four most important characters are all female: Vanille, Fang, Serah and Lightning, with Snow maybe coming in a distant fifth. Take Lightning out, and there's no resolution to topple the Sanctum. Without Serah, most of the characters don't become l'Cie in the first place. Without Vanille and Fang, absolutely nothing in the game happens. The male characters aren't superfluous, but their roles in the plot tend to be secondary. It's incredible to realise how rare this is, and how commonly we see the reverse. It's fine to have stories about men, just as it's fine to have stories about women, but it'd be nice if the balance were a little less skewed.

How did this turn into a lengthy ramble about gender roles in videogames? Moving on:

I think the scene on Pulse in which Hope tells the others to go on without him, just before the Alexander fight, might be one of my favourites in the game. Hope's not amongst my favourite characters (it doesn't help that his role is frequently relegated to 'summarising the plot so far'), but there's something really likeable about him in that scene. The poor kid's terrified that he's holding everybody back, and he tries to put on a brave face and tell everyone that he'll be fine if they carry on without him, even though there are monsters everywhere and he can barely stay on his feet. (And the moment when he falls forward and Snow catches him!)

I found myself wondering recently whether it would be possible to write a Final Fantasy XIII/Animorphs AU, in which the cast of XIII, rather than becoming l'Cie, become Animorphs. Superficially it seemed to make sense, because both Final Fantasy XIII and Animorphs are tales of a group of people who, having been drawn together by chance, experience something that binds them and changes their lives forever. On further consideration, though, I don't think it can be written. Too many of the Final Fantasy XIII cast are warriors. The point of Animorphs is that these are ordinary kids, thrown suddenly into a war that's far bigger than they are. Characters like Lightning and Fang are too used to fighting already. Hope's the only real Animorph candidate amongst the l'Cie.

Which sort of breaks my heart, because I'd love to see that crossover.

(No, wait, Serah would be a Controller, wouldn't she? I WOULDN'T LOVE TO SEE THAT CROSSOVER; IT WOULD BREAK MY HEART.)

* I've seen criticism of Portal saying that the fact Chell is female does nothing for female representation in games, because she's a silent protagonist and the game would be no different if she were a man. I personally think that makes Chell incredibly important. She could be male, true, and nothing would change. But she isn't! Having a female main character doesn't have to be a plot twist, or a source of titillation, or a vehicle for telling a particular story; it can just be because, you know, sometimes people are female. There doesn't have to be a reason for someone to be a woman. I'm a woman for no reason at all.
rionaleonhart: okami: amaterasu is startled. (NOT SO FAST)
I've been rereading the Animorphs series, and these books really are startlingly dark. In Book 15, The Escape, there's a scene in which Marco (the book's narrator) goes to the school swimming pool and tries to morph into a shark. This is obviously a terrible idea, as the pool is treated with chlorine and I don't imagine a hammerhead is going to be very happy in it. Perhaps fortunately, a couple of arseholes come in and Marco stops the morph. At this point Marco is mostly human but, unbeknownst to the bullies, has a mouthful of shark teeth.

One of the bullies, Woo, starts making comments about Marco's mother. This is, for various reasons, a very sore subject for Marco. And then we get this:

All I had to do was walk away. And all I did was stare at Woo's throat.

I could see the arteries there. The ones that were pulsating on either side of Woo's Adam's apple.

[Then, when Marco's friend Jake sees him cornered and steps in:] I swung my head fiercely towards Jake. I grimaced, baring my teeth. "I thon't neeth you help."

The shark's teeth that filled my mouth distorted my speech. I saw Jake's eyes flare in surprise. Then wary concern.

"Let it go, Marco," Jake said.

I turned back towards Woo. I could still see the pulsing blood just below the skin of Woo's neck. It would be so easy...

I read these books when I was nine. How is there a scene in which one kid has to be talked down from literally tearing another kid's throat out with his teeth?

Speaking of amazing Animorphs quotes, here's a bit from Book 12, The Reaction, first published in 1997. Rachel is explaining the influence a tremendously popular actor holds:

"Jake, you're not getting it. About half the girls in our school have a poster of Jeremy Jason McCole in their bedrooms or in their lockers, or both. He is the number one cute guy in the country. He has like twenty Web sites just about him."

I reread this about a month ago and cracked up. How times change!
rionaleonhart: harry potter: extremely poorly-drawn dumbledore fleeing and yelling NOOOOOOOOO. (NOOOOOOOOO)
I can't excuse this. I really can't. I was visiting my parents, and I rediscovered my old copies of The Poltergoose and The Toilet of Doom from Michael Lawrence's Jiggy McCue series, which I'd loved as a kid. Out of idle curiosity, I decided to find out whether anyone in the world had written Jiggy McCue fanfiction, and of course nobody had.

Somehow it seemed like the logical next step to write a ridiculous Animorphs crossover.

The Jiggy McCue series is a series of rather silly books aimed at twelve-year-olds, and I've never met anyone else who has read them. They do rely on gross-out humour sometimes, and I sort of wish they wouldn't, but what appeals to me about them is Jiggy's very chatty, informal style, laced throughout with terrible jokes and unnecessary clarifications ('I opened a drawer in my chest (of drawers)' is a line I'm particularly fond of). It's a lot of fun to read, and even more fun, it turns out, to write.

Which is why I've written eight thousand words of fanfiction that has no market at all.


(I've written it to be understandable to people who aren't familiar with the Jiggy McCue series (or indeed Animorphs), so you should be able to follow it if you just happen to be in the mood for something in the style of a ridiculous book series aimed at twelve-year-olds. I really hope at least one person in the world reads and enjoys this.)

Title: Earplugs Would Have Been Better
Fandom: Jiggy McCue series/Animorphs
Rating: PG
Wordcount: 8,300
Summary: I can't tell you who I am, or where I live. Or maybe I can? Jiggy McCue, Brook Farm Estate. That was actually pretty easy. Anyway, this is the story of the day I got possessed by an alien, which was probably only about the third-worst day of my life.

Earplugs Would Have Been Better )
rionaleonhart: final fantasy x-2: the sun is rising, yuna looks to the future. (i'm here now)
My extremely considered and deep opinion on episode 7.23 of Waterloo Road: NIKKI IS THE BEST ♥ ♥ ♥

ALSO JOSH FINALLY GOT TO KISS SOMEONE, ABOUT TIME. Now he just needs to stop falling for boys who will ruin his life. Nate was nice; what happened to him? I think there's a deep invisible pit in the middle of that school, and I think it feeds on good influences and the well-adjusted. It must go hungry a lot of the time. Trudi is doomed, but I can't see any other potential pit-victims in the current cast.

Tom and Josh's relationship seems to be suspended from extremely frayed threads by this point. I am quite distressed by this. You know, this could probably all have been avoided if you just hugged once in a while.

I did like the cute Josh-and-Tom scene at the beginning of the episode (Tom calls 'Love you' after him as he leaves for school! Awww), but of course Waterloo Road only ever gives us cute scenes between Josh and Tom so it'll hurt more as it spends the next hour methodically pulling their relationship to tatters.

Despite my distress, I really enjoyed that episode! Lots of Josh; some Josh and Tom; Nikki turning up and being the best: thumbs up! Why do I love Waterloo Road so much? It's terrible, and I know it's terrible, but I just can't help myself. I also can't stop myself posting about it, apparently, even though I don't think a single one of you is watching this series. (Here is the episode on iPlayer, in case any of you happen to be in the mood for dreadful-but-compelling melodramatic television about teachers and schoolboys and the drug dealers those schoolboys ill-advisedly fall in love with.)

Josh must be in Year Thirteen now, mustn't he? As must Finn and Lauren (and Sam would be if she were still around, sob). So I suppose they're not long for this programme. I'll miss them when they're gone; they're very much my Waterloo Road year.

I've been rereading the early Animorphs books lately (so depressing - I can't believe I read these when I was nine! - but those books are still amazing). The problem with rereading them as an adult is this: I can't stop wondering how Ax would respond to sex in human form. How do Andalites reproduce? They don't have a sense of taste, and so Ax becomes obsessed with food in his human morph. Probably best not to go down this line of thought.

Also, if Ax had already acquired a shark, why did he put out a psychic cry for help when he was under the ocean? Why didn't he just, you know, morph and swim away? I suppose perhaps the problem was that he didn't know where the nearest land was; if he didn't find solid ground within two hours, he'd have to choose between being trapped as a shark and drowning (I have a sneaking suspicion that Andalites can't swim).
rionaleonhart: final fantasy xiii: lightning pays intense attention to you. (speak carefully)
Idle musing: I wonder what would happen if the cast of one Final Fantasy game happened to be dropped into the plotline of another?

The cast of Final Fantasy VIII in the plot of Final Fantasy XIII: Squall's a bit less angry than Lightning, so there's probably less punching, but otherwise I imagine it would be extremely similar. Rinoa takes Snow's place as the idealist who keeps everyone going; she's not particularly Snowish personality-wise (Snow is probably what would result if Seifer, Zell and Rinoa all tried to raise a kid together - well, Snow and explosions), but I can see the characters fulfilling the same role. Gradually, Squall comes to care about the people with whom he has found himself stuck. I would actually be really interested in reading a fic along these lines.

(I would also probably read the fic in which Seifer, Zell and Rinoa try to raise a kid. It would go so badly.)

The cast of Final Fantasy XIII in the plot of Final Fantasy X: Lightning is a Summoner! SCREW YOU GUYS; SHE DOESN'T NEED GUARDIANS. This causes complications when she eventually tries to obtain the Final Aeon.

...and around here my musing came to an end, because I realised that too many Final Fantasy plots are basically incoherent for this to be a successful line of thought.

The Final Fantasy XIII concept - a group of people find themselves thrown together and ostracised by the world, with a time limit set on their lives and little idea of what to do to save themselves - is generally quite an interesting one to plug various characters into, though. Someone should probably write about the cast of The Mentalist or Glee or Friendship is Magic becoming l'Cie.

(Here, from one of my notebooks, are some scribbled-down thoughts on treasures Nathan and Elena could find in potential Uncharted fic:

- morphing cube from Animorphs (Escafil Device?)
- Pokéball
- or maybe something that will necessitate a big daft crossover and is specifically a fal'Cie. What an incredible statue! Wait, is - is it alive? AND THEN THEY BECOME L'CIE. WOW, THERE WOULD BE NO MARKET FOR THIS AT ALL.

The problem with using Final Fantasy XIII as a basis for concept crossovers (I don't know whether that's what they're called: what I mean is a work of fanfiction that uses only characters from Fandom A and simply borrows a concept from Fandom B, so it's essentially a Fandom A fic that happens to use an idea from another fandom) is the amount of specialist vocabulary involved. Patrick Ness's Chaos Walking trilogy provides a great basis for concept crossovers in Noise: people broadcast their thoughts constantly for other people to hear! It's quickly explained, easily understood, and a concept crossover that makes use of Noise can be read and enjoyed by someone who's never heard of the Chaos Walking trilogy. With Final Fantasy XIII, though, a person who hasn't played the game will find themselves going 'l'Cie? fal'Cie? Cie'th? Focus? What?'

Basically, what I'm saying is 'I know I write a lot of fanfiction with practically no market, but a crossover between The Mentalist and Final Fantasy XIII would have literally no market, and that's probably why I throw a lot of Final Fantasy XIII crossover ideas around on my journal but never actually write them.'

And also that Seifer, Zell and Rinoa shouldn't raise a child together.
rionaleonhart: kingdom hearts: sora, riku and kairi having a friendly chat. (and they returned home)
[ profile] reipan gave me some Animorphs books for Christmas, and so I recently reread The Invasion, the first book in the series.

I had forgotten that the Animorphs books are the most depressing children's books ever written. In my memory, the Animorphs at least managed to blow up the Yeerk pool in the first book, even if Tobias was a casualty. Upon rereading, I found that they went in severely underprepared. They did not manage to blow up the Yeerk pool. They managed to rescue one person. One person. They released others from the cages, but all of them were recaptured or killed. The Animorphs' first major mission, and more people ended up dead than rescued. And, on top of all that, Jake ate a live spider. SO DEPRESSING.

(Nothing on the end of the series, though, which I never actually reached but read up on when I was researching for my Glee/Animorphs crossover. Oh, Jake.)

These books were a really big part of my childhood. I used to go to the library and check out as many as I possibly could at once. My first real involvement in fandom was on the messageboard for a fanfiction series called Pokémorphs, in which a Mew gave a bunch of teenagers the power to morph into Pokémon using the 'Ditto Device'. They had to fight the Weederpies: Weedle-Caterpie hybrids genetically engineered by Team Rocket. It was amazing. The world definitely needs more Animorphs crossovers.

Whilst I'm being nostalgic: I've rediscovered my first real effort at fanfiction (EDIT: Just realised that this is at least the third thing to which I have referred as 'my first attempt at fanfiction' in this journal. Look, it was at least ten years ago and I have a terrible memory for the order in which things happen), which was never finished (barely started, in fact). It was called Mew's Pokémon Journey, and it was about a Mew who wanted to be a Pokémon master. I think I'd have been eleven or twelve. Here are some scans of the (now rather yellowed) pages: one, two, three. It looks like there was more writing afterwards, but sadly I think that's been lost.

I've also written it up under the cut, just in case those scans go down in the future and I lose the original (I am a hoarder and like to keep things backed up all over the place). Spelling and punctuational errors are preserved. (I was quite a competent speller, I see, but I clearly had no idea how to punctuate dialogue.)

Mew's Pokémon Journey: an eleven-year-old's first attempt at fanfiction (probably). )

Alas, we shall never know exactly how Mew was to fare on his Pokémon journey.

To return to the original subject of Animorphs, here is a quote from the construction-site scene in The Invasion:

But then the Andalite's voice was in my head again. {Courage, my friends.}**

And then he psychically transmits courage to the Animorphs.

BLAINE ANDERSON IS AN ANDALITE. My goodness, I clearly missed an opportunity in my Glee/Animorphs crossover.

* this is equivalent to a dog saying 'My name is Dog.'
** here, as in the Mew's Pokémon Journey writeup, I am using squiggly brackets (that's almost certainly the technical term) instead of the pointy brackets of the book because I don't want LJ to interpret it as an HTML tag and make my text too courageous.
rionaleonhart: final fantasy x-2: the sun is rising, yuna looks to the future. (...really?)
Title: The Transfer
Fandom: Glee/Animorphs
Rating: PG-13
Pairing: Kurt/Blaine
Wordcount: 4,300
Summary: Glee/Animorphs crossover AU, hopefully accessible to people unfamiliar with Animorphs. Being a gay teenager in love is difficult enough even when you don't have an evil alien controlling your every move.
Warnings: May be upsetting for people who have experience of being possessed by Yeerks or, more seriously, who are uncomfortable with reading about a complete loss of control over one's own actions.
Notes: Written in response to this anonymous prompt. Why is everything I write for this pairing an absurd AU?

The Transfer )
rionaleonhart: final fantasy x-2: the sun is rising, yuna looks to the future. (can't tear us apart)
It turns out that my brother can be as weirdly fannish as I am sometimes. There's a line of salt in the doorway of the computer room. I didn't put it there.

- The Borrowers, as mentioned in the previous entry.
- The Animorphs. Who remembers the Animorphs books? Possibly my first ever fannish obsession. I wasn't actually in the fandom, because it was before I discovered the Internet, but I was certainly obsessed. Anyway, Sam and Dean hear vague rumours of kids who can turn into animals and decide to check it out. Then, of course, they get drawn into the fight against the Yeerks. They are given the morphing ability. Dean promptly makes full use of this by turning into an adorable cat at every opportunity so girls will fondle him. Sam rolls his eyes a lot.
- Tidus and Auron, because cut for Final Fantasy X spoilers; yes, I know the game's been out for six years, but maybe there are still people who have yet to play it. )
- Silent Hill. YOU CAN HUNT A TOWN.
- A katamari.
- Pokémon. Obviously.

So, what do you dream of Sam and Dean having to deal with?